No company likes to see a sharp slide in its stock price, but Expedia Inc. has more reason to dislike it than most: The company could end up tripping a debt covenant as a result.

The online travel company's stock has tumbled about 33 percent to around $16 a share, since it was spun off from IAC/InterActive Corp. in 2005. That decline and a decline in the cash flow produced by Expedia's operations suggest that the company may have to write off some of the $5.86 billion in goodwill on its balance sheet.

"We think investors should be expecting a significant write-off,'' said Jonathan Weil, managing director at financial-research firm Glass Lewis & Co., which recently issued a report noting Expedia's goodwill issues.

Expedia said in a statement that it has "a solid balance sheet'' and "intend(s) to continue investing to build a great service for our worldwide travelers and long-term value for our shareholders.''

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